Anemia (B12 Deficiency), Anemia (Iron Deficiency), Anemia (Flat Deficiency)
Vitamin B12 deficiency impairs the body's ability to make blood, accelerates blood cell destruction, and damages the nervous system. The result is pernicious anemia.
Vitamin B12 deficiency is a factor in many disorders. The absorption of dietary vitamin B12 occurs in the small intestine and requires a secretion from the stomach known as intrinsic factor. If intrinsic factor is deficient, absorption of vitamin B12 is severely diminished.
The causes of this disease is probably autoimmune, the immune system destroys cells in the stomach that secrete intrinsic factor.
Aging is also associated with a decrease in the normal secretion of stomach acid.
As a result, some older people with normal levels of intrinsic factor, and with no clear cause for malabsorption, will become vitamin B12-deficient unless they take daily supplements.
Deficiency of Vitamin B12 may include burning of the tongue, fatigue, weakness, and loss of appetite, intermittent constipation and diarrhea, abdominal pain, weight loss, nervous system problems. Menstrual symptoms and psychological symptoms.
Iron-deficiency anemia is the most common form of anemia in Europe and the USA.
The primary cause is blood lost during menstruation, but pregnancy, breast-feeding a baby, and blood loss from the gastrointestinal tract (either due to ulcers or cancer) can also deplete iron stores.
Older persons, who have poor diets, especially when they live alone, often have iron-deficiency anemia.
Folate deficiency anemia.
Folate or folic acid is necessary for red blood cell formation and growth.
In folate deficiency anemia, the red cells are abnormally large and are referred to as megalocytes, and in the bone marrow as megaloblasts. Subsequently, this anemia may be referred to as megaloblastic anemia.
Causes of the anemia are poor dietary intake of folic acid as in malabsorption, chronic alcoholism, diseases such as celiac disease and sprue, and certain medications.
A relative deficiency due to increased need for folic acid may occur in the third trimester of pregnancy.
Risk factors are a poor diet, most seen frequently in the poor, the elderly, and in people who do not buy fresh fruits or vegetables, overcooking food, alcoholism, having a history of malabsorption diseases, and pregnancy.
Because folate is not stored in the body in large amounts, a continual dietary supply of this vitamin is needed.